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The Story and Inspiration

The story of the "nightlight" and the Nightlight Report is the story of the power we each have to be aware of, take responsibility for, and take action to help improve the lives of children with disabilities and their families in Texas. May we each be a glowing "Nightlight" for Texas.

A poem inspired this Report. This poem, entitled "A Prayer for Children," is below and is also found at

It was written by Ina Hughs, a newspaper reporter for the Knoxville News. The poem achieved worldwide attention when it was read aloud during UNICEF's World Summit for Children.

A Prayer for Children

"We pray [take responsibility] for the children
who sneak Popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks,
who can never find their shoes.

And we pray [take responsibility] for those
who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
who never "counted potatoes,"
who never go to the circus,
who live in an X-rated world.

We pray [take responsibility] for children
who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we pray [take responsibility] for those
who never get dessert,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
who watch their parents watch them die,
who can't find any bread to steal,
who don't have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
whose monsters are real.

We pray [take responsibility] for children
who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store
and pick at their food,
who like ghost stories,
who shove dirty clothes under the bed,
who never rinse out the tub,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
who squirm in church and scream in the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at
and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray [take responsibility] for those
whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything,
who have never seen a dentist,
who aren't spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
who live and move, but have no being.

We pray [take responsibility] for children
who want to be carried and for those who must,
who we never give up on
and for those who don't get a second chance.
For those we smother and...for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it."

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